Welcome, RotoBallers. Hockey this time of year is a different experience with the showdown slates. The goal is to keep things simple during this time of year. Keep it simple stupid applies here.
If you are new to playing NHL DFS, there are several things to know that will help you get caught up to speed. The first thing to know is that stacking lines is important and correlating your plays can pay off. In hockey, if someone scores a goal, there's a good chance that some on his team will receive an assist on that goal, so you want to build lineups around players skating together. The second thing is to make sure you look at the two sites and see the different ways to obtain points. On DraftKings, you get bonus points for 5+ shots or 3+ blocked shots so someone like Nikita Kucherov who can be a volume shooter tends to be a better play just because he can rack up additional points based on his style of play.
Today I'll be bringing you my NHL lineup picks, analysis and advice for NHL DFS contests on DraftKings and Fanduel for Monday, September 28th, 2020 at 8:00 PM. Be sure to also check out our awesome NHL tools including our Lineup Optimizer, Research Station, Projections, and DFS Cheat Sheets! Feel free to follow me on Twitter @ChrisWasselDFS as I am happy to engage with readers and try to answer your questions. Good luck RotoBallers!
Please note this is the third game in four nights for both teams.
NHL DFS Analysis and Picks for 9/28
- Dallas Stars (+140) vs. Tampa Bay Lightning (-160)
NHL DFS Goalie Analysis
|Team||Goalie GAA||Goalie SS||Goalie RBS||Goalie GSAA||Goalie QS%|
|Anton Khudobin||2.72 -- 8th||32.58||2||0.4||47.8|
|Andrei Vasilevskiy||1.97 -- 2nd||29.91||1||6.05||58.3|
The numbers I use will be a bit different than Jorge's but the goal is the same. Goalies are ranked based on a minimum of eight starts (more than one round basically).This is to keep you informed of overall statistics from an individual goaltending standpoint. Goalie SS is simply goalie shots seen. Goalie RBS is what we call a really bad start where a goaltender has a save percentage of .850 or less. Goalie GSAA is goals saved above average and the quality start percentage is where a goaltender posts above the league average in save percentage.
Now, what has been lost in some of the big picture numbers is that Anton Khudobin has been more of a victim overreacting to what Tampa Bay does in this round. If anyone has noticed, the Lightning place a premium on creating traffic in front of a goaltender with speed. Players do not stay in a spot long as they are often moving. That movement and Tampa Bay's ability to attack quickly has hurt Dallas often in this series. It has forced Khudobin to cheat way more than usual in the last three games and the result have been Lightning wins.
Andrei Vasilevskiy has had his moments too but as often is the case, the Russian goalie has found a way to play his best when the game matters most. He has made the saves in this series that Khudobin has failed to make. Yes, Khudobin faces more shots but the quality of chances are far greater from Tampa Bay. It is not to say that Dallas has not had their moments. It is just that Tampa Bay executes at a more efficient level.
Power Play Analysis
|Matchup||PP%||Opp PK %|
|Dallas Stars||23.2% -- 2||85.5% -- 2|
|Tampa Bay Lightning||22.2% -- 4||80% -- 12|
The Power Play matrix is to help locate matchups that can be exploited should there be an odd-man advantage during the game. Just like the goalie matrix above, the teams are matched up based on their own power play percentage rank and their opponent's penalty kill percentage. When looking at this matrix, you will want to look for teams that succeed in the power play rank while their opponent has a poor penalty kill rank. The matrix above takes the averages of four categories and creates a rating scale to help you decide which goalies to use, which goalies to target against, and conversely which teams could be viable from a stacking standpoint. It looks at four categories: Goals Allowed (GA), Shots Allowed (SA), Goals For (GF), Shots For (SF). The higher the overall rating in the last column indicates that it is a more dangerous matchup for that team's goalie while it might be beneficial to stack against him. I match and sync this every day to the actual opponents to ensure we get the correct data for each slate!
The Dallas power play has been vital in their ability to advance through the first three rounds. With Jamie Benn scoring at will and a top unit that features players like John Klinbgberg and Joe Pavelski. Also, do not forget about Alexander Radulov and Miro Heiskanen who are both dangerous as well. Yet this power play in Games 2-4 has gone away from its working formula and become too cute. The results have been a disaster including another 0 for 3 in Game 4.
Tampa Bay's power play went belly up versus the New York Islanders. It then began to bounce back in Games 2 and 3 of this series. The return of Steven Stamkos in Game 3 gave everyone a lift from top to bottom and that had an effect on the man advantage. Tampa Bay looked energized and raring to go throughout the contest. The five-man unit struck fear into the hearts of the Dallas penalty killers throughout Wednesday night. This resulted in Tampa Bay going 3 for 4 on Friday night including the game winner in overtime from Kevin Shattenkirk.
Game 5 was a bit more subdued with only a few power plays handed out. At times, it felt more like a Game 7. The double overtime affair was quite physical as the players were allowed to play.
NHL DFS Core Plays- Showdown
- Victor Hedman ($13,500 DK/ $12,000 FD) - Hedman had one of his worst possession nights in the playoffs but still managed yet another double digit fantasy effort behind five shots on goal and four blocked shots. That meant hitting both bonuses on DraftKings as well. Even when he is off, he is on just enough to hit value. The Tampa Bay blueliner has hit double digit fantasy points in four straight and six of his previous seven outings now. There are few players who can deliver that kind of consistency from his position.
- Nikita Kucherov ($16,200 DK/ $14,500 FD) - Kucherov is the most expensive player on the slate but also carries the highest ceiling of all skaters in this game. He had one assist, three shots on goal, and three scoring chances in Game 5 versus the Dallas Stars. He is the most dangerous player on the ice especially when that first unit power play is in rhythm. With the power play unit a bit neutralized on Saturday, look for a better effort on Monday night.
- Jamie Benn ($12,300 DK/ $14,000 FD) - The temptation is to go with Tyler Seguin who is piling up assists including three in Game 4 on Saturday night. However, Seguin has not scored in 14 postseason games and Benn does not have that kind of drought working against him. On the other hand, Benn has just one assist in this series despite 12 shots on goal and 11 scoring chances. Maybe he is due but this is a higher risk captain pick than most for Game 6.
- Ondrej Palat ($8,400 DK/ $10,000 FD) - Palat has been skating with the top Lightning line all postseason long. Palat is cheaper than his other linemates but allows you to get exposure to the top line and the top powerplay line as well. He has scored double-digit DK points in eight of his last 11 games. If needing salary relief, Palat can be viable in tournaments for the captain role due to his recent form and salary savings that he provides. Furthermore, Palat has carried a nice floor and had 3+ shots in six of his last seven games. There will be no Steven Stamkos for the rest of this series so there is zero fear of Palat's time getting reduced.
- Corey Perry ($4,000 DK/ $7,500 FD) - Perry's wife joined the bubble and magically he now has three goals in his last two games while playing with Tyler Seguin. It is just crazy that Perry is the sniper and Seguin is the passer now. In Stanley Cup Final games, Perry has nine points in ten career contests. He does have a flair for the dramatic to a point and the price is extremely reasonable still despite the uptick in production.
- Anthony Cirelli ($6,200 DK/ $8,000 FD) - Cirelli can be a bit of a gamble given his higher than expected DraftKings price but still carries some value. He can average a couple shots a night with a couple blocks as well. That gives him somewhat of a floor and the increased ice time is a bonus. If there are a few more power plays in Game 6, this will help as well. He is on the second line and that does not expect to change which typically means the second power play unit.
- TB1- Palat, Hedman, Kucherov, Point
- DAL1- Benn, Seguin, Radulov (Perry will sometimes play with Seguin)
- TBPP1- Kucherov, Hedman, Palat, Point
- TB3 - Goodrow, Gourde, Coleman
C- Pavelski, Seguin, Gourde, Cirelli, Point
W- Kucherov, Benn, Radulov, Palat, Perry/Maroon,
D- Hedman, Sergachev, Klingberg, Heiskanen
G- Vasilevskiy, Khudobin